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Is a 5G 'Puck' really mobile?

Dan Jones

January 31, 2018

1 Min Read
AT&T's 'Mobile' 5G: What the Puck?

AT&T's CEO Randall Stephenson shed a little bit more light on the -- ahem -- mobile "puck" that the operator will offer with its first mobile 5G network, expected in late 2018, on the company's earnings call Wednesday evening.

Surprise, surprise, it surely sounds like a router for distributing the 5G signal among various WiFi devices, which is fair enough, but not really a "mobile" device to my mind. Here's the full quote:

"It's not going to be a handset, because handsets just aren't available, think of this as a puck," Stephenson said on the call. Commercial 5G smartphones aren't expected until sometime in 2019. (See AT&T to Spend Trump Tax Bump on Fiber, 5G 'Foundation'.)

Call me old-fashioned -- hell, call me "Cyril" for all I care -- but I think of a moveable signal router as a classically nomadic device not a mobile device, since you're likely supporting PCs, laptops and the like with the signal from the 5G "puck."

Personally, I feel a 5G mobile device should be either be a smartphone or a tablet -- at least right now. Eventually a 5G connected car will probably count as a mobile device too of course, but not in late 2018.

Maybe I'm being too much of a stickler? Let me know in the comments below.

— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Dan Jones

Mobile Editor

Dan is to hats what Will.I.Am is to ridiculous eyewear. Fedora, trilby, tam-o-shanter -- all have graced the Jones pate during his career as the go-to purveyor of mobile essentials.

But hey, Dan is so much more than 4G maps and state-of-the-art headgear. Before joining the Light Reading team in 2002 he was an award-winning cult hit on Broadway (with four 'Toni' awards, two 'Emma' gongs and a 'Brian' to his name) with his one-man show, "Dan Sings the Show Tunes."

His perfectly crafted blogs, falling under the "Jonestown" banner, have been compared to the works of Chekhov. But only by Dan.

He lives in Brooklyn with cats.

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